Leading Green MEP visits anti-racism and anti-sectarianism campaigners in Belfast

Ska Keller, the Green Party MEP who’s was chosen to represent the Green Party in the contest become President of the European Union Commission visited Belfast today to meet and canvass with Green Party NI European candidate Ross Brown in East Belfast.

After meeting voters on the doorsteps in East Belfast, Ska Keller visited the West Belfast offices of the anti-racism and anti-sectarian trade union organisation Trademark.

With the recent spate of racist attacks, Ska Keller’s visit to Belfast is timely as she has been a long-standing anti-racist campaigner and has championed the rights of migrants across Europe.

She said the anti-immigration rhetoric from parties like UKIP “fuelled prejudice” and that similar parties across Europe were attacking fundamental rights of all European Union (EU) citizens.

There was no evidence that migration within the EU lowered wages, she said.

Instead, she argued that migrants were a boost to member states’ economies by starting businesses and creating employment.

“Migration benefits economies and people – including in the UK. No one can deny that and the same is true for other European countries. We also have freedom of capital and goods, which is good for business.

“People simply can’t prove that migration lowers wages – migrants are creating jobs and businesses as well. They are bringing economies forward. We don’t want to have wages lowered, which is why we want a strong minimum income and social security at a European level. If you want to find something to blame for low wages, you need to blame policies not migrants,” Ms Kellar said.

“Belfast is a wonderful city and the people are very welcoming and hospitable.

“The problems that some migrants are currently facing such as racist attacks and hate speech are perpetrated by a small minority and they cannot be allowed to dictate the agenda.

Green Party European candidate Ross Brown said: “Trademark have the right approach when it comes to tackling issues like racism and sectarianism because they tackle the underlying economic causes of division.

“They are an excellent example of an organization which gets funding support from Europe and are doing genuinely good work at a grassroots level.

“Having Ska Keller in Belfast today was a reminder that the Greens are a big party at the European level and belong to one of the biggest voting blocks in the European Parliament.

“If we want to see real change in Northern Ireland then we need to look outwards and maximize our position and representation at a European level.

“A vote for the Green Party in Northern Ireland will ensure strong political representation and it is a vote for the common good for all citizens.”

Ska completed her trip to Belfast with a pint of Guinness in the Crown Bar!
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